The United States is approaching on Monday the sad bar of half a million deaths from the coronavirus at a time when the pace of vaccinations offers a glimmer of hope, as in England where Boris Johnson presents a “progressive” deconfinement plan.
One year after the announcement, on February 29, 2020, of the first death of Covid-19 in the United States, the country is preparing to cross the threshold of 500,000 people who have succumbed to the disease, with 498,879 deaths counted Monday at 1:30 GMT by Johns Hopkins University, whose figures refer to.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented his plan to get England out of containment on Monday, with the hope that it will be the last and with the aim of reopening schools soon.
Italy extends ban on travel between regions of the country
Italy extended the ban on travel between regions of the country by one month on Monday due to the increase in new Covid-19 contaminations. Italians are not allowed to leave their region before March 27, except when it comes to business trips or emergencies.
The extension of the ban is one of the first measures of the new government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Strict measures regarding visits from other households remain in force. These visits are, in certain high-risk regions, called red, prohibited until March 27.
Italy introduced, in autumn 2020, a color system to distinguish between risk areas in order to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Wearing a mask is compulsory and a curfew is imposed throughout the country from 10 p.m.
Italy recorded more than 13,000 new contaminations in 24 hours on Sunday.
Ten of Germany’s 16 Länder began sending children back to school on Monday after the longest period of confinement to date. German Education Minister Anja Karliczek called for “all available measures for the prevention of viral infections” to be used to ensure that schools can remain open in the coming weeks.
Sanofi will produce in France the vaccine against the Covid-19 of its American competitor Johnson & Johnson in the second half of the year, as it is also preparing to do for the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, the French pharmaceutical group announced on Monday.
Sanofi will take care of the formulation and filling of the bottles at its Marcy-l’Etoile site, near Lyon, “from the third quarter”, “at a rate of around 12 million doses per month”, states in a press release from the laboratory which specifies keeping the development of its two candidate vaccines as a “priority”.
In Israel, where 48% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, malls and street shops were reopened on Sunday, as part of the third deconfinement since the start of the pandemic.
Beginning of vaccination with Russian vaccine in Gaza Strip
In the Gaza Strip, the coronavirus vaccination campaign began with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, the Hamas-run health ministry said in a press release on Monday. About 11,000 people are expected to receive the two doses of the vaccine over the next three weeks.
The rival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas, Mohammad Dahlan, on Sunday organized the delivery of some 20,000 doses, a donation from the United Arab Emirates.
These vaccines arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border post with Egypt. This is the largest delivery to the Gaza Strip.
Medical staff will be the first to receive an injection, followed by patients with chronic diseases and people who have had organ transplants, a spokesperson for the health ministry said.
Last week, the Palestinian Authority sent 2,000 doses from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.
More than 54,000 infections and 543 deaths have been recorded in the enclave since the start of the pandemic. More than 2 million people live in the Gaza Strip, often in precarious conditions with poor health care.
The Philippine Medicines Regulatory Authority on Monday approved the emergency use of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine, the first doses of which are expected this week. However, healthcare workers will not be vaccinated with this Chinese product because of its poor results in terms of efficacy, according to the same source.
CoronaVac is the third vaccine approved by the archipelago for emergency use, but to date no dose has been delivered and the government of President Rodrigo Duterte is under fire.
Syria has authorized the use of the Covid-19 vaccine from its Russian ally, Sputnik V, on its territory, the Damascus embassy in Moscow announced on Monday.
“The Syrian Arab Republic has completed all the procedures on the registration of the Russian vaccine + Sputnik V +” and “authorized its use on its territory,” said a statement from the embassy, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS. .
At war since 2011, President Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria has benefited from massive and crucial military support from Moscow, which is also delivering humanitarian aid.
Officially, areas controlled by Damascus have recorded 15,179 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, including 998 fatalities.
The territories under Kurdish control, in the North-East, have recorded nearly 8,600 cases and 311 deaths, while the rebel zones of the North-West have reported 21,121 contaminations and 408 deaths.
Australia gave the real kick-off of its vaccination campaign on Monday: some 60,000 doses are ready to be injected this week, to healthcare workers, police officers, employees of quarantine hotels or residents of retirement homes.
This launch was, however, clouded by anti-vaccine protests in some major cities and by the hostile reactions expressed by some spectators in the men’s final of the Open tennis on Sunday.
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